In search of a Shepherd for CLC

Congregation Name and Location

Name Christ Lutheran Church
Mailing address 32300 Schoenherr Rd
City Warren State/Province Michigan Zip/Postal Code 48088
Telephone (586) 293-0700 Fax
Email address
Congregation website

Seeking ☒ Full-time pastor ☐ Part-time pastor ☐ Either full-time or part-time
Call will be for ☒ Solo pastor ☐ Senior pastor ☐ Associate pastor

Congregational President or Vice President

Name Cheryl Gothro Title Council President
Email address

Call Committee Chair

Name Mark Woy
Email address

Congregational Demographics

Number of paid staff (full- or part-time): Clergy 1 Lay professionals 1 Secretarial 2
(Music director)
Average worship attendance 2020 142 service / streaming Average Sunday school attendance 7
2021 133 2019 pre-covid 163
Indicate the type of community in which your congregation is located (is it small town, small city, suburban, large city, farming, industrial, etc.).
Christ Lutheran is located in the northern part of the city of Warren, Macomb County, Michigan and borders Sterling Heights, and Fraser. Warren is the third largest city in the state with Sterling Heights close behind. We are located in a highly-populated suburban area of middle to upper middle-class families. Population in those three cities is 279,000 people. There is a mix of cultural backgrounds, the population is primarily Caucasian. Average median family income is $63,000 per year and the average median age is 39.4 years for Warren, 40.6 years for Sterling Heights, and 42.9 years for Fraser.

Describe the congregation’s ethnic composition and age distribution.
Christ Lutheran Church is composed of a mixed congregation with a variety of nationalities. It is primarily Caucasian. The average age of the congregation is above 60 years with the majority of people retired. There are also younger families and members in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

Does the congregation have a clear vision for mission — a clear and shared understanding of where God is leading you? If so, state it as succinctly as possible.
Our mission statement is “Connecting Christ and the community to renew the world.” We welcome God’s children who walk through our doors. We glorify God through the sacraments, celebrate His word in the liturgy, and praise Him through song and prayer. God calls us to carry His message to the World. We respond to the needs of our congregation and community by offering a variety of outreach activities. Prayer is the cornerstone in nourishing our relationship with God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We value God’s desires for the spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical well-being of all His children.

What are the primary goals of your congregation?
Our primary goals as a congregation are to worship God, to serve our community with faith and love, to grow and increase membership, to upgrade our use of technology, and to increase our community out-reach efforts to interest new people to become followers of Christ.

Describe your congregation’s worship practice (liturgy, hymns, vestments, music, hymnals, and frequency of Holy Communion).
We have a traditional service at 9:00am and a contemporary service at 11:00am with corresponding music. We also offer special services: Lent, Advent, festival and holiday services. Musically, we use (at the traditional service) organ and piano accompaniment with adult vocal and hand bell choirs. The contemporary service also uses organ / piano music, as well as two praise bands using various instruments and contemporary music. We also use the LBW Hymnal and occasional guest accompanists at all services. Communion is offered weekly at alternating services. We use liturgy from the LBW Hymnal at both services with slight modifications to the contemporary service. Robes and vestments are worn by Pastor at traditional services and some contemporary services. The choir also occasionally wears robes.

Describe your congregation’s Christian education ministry.
We grow in our spiritual education through adult sermons and children’s sermons, adult Bible studies on Sunday and Wednesday, catechism, Sunday school and vacation Bible school for youth.

Describe the congregation’s current activities for mission and outreach.
We support various worldwide and local ministries through benevolent contributions approved by the church council. We, as a church body, provide food pantry, holiday food baskets, trunk or treat, shoebox ministry, homebound visitations with communion, and many miscellaneous programs introduced by members and sponsored by committees for outreach.

The NALC is committed to moving away from an institutional understanding of the Church, to the biblical commission to be a community of followers of Jesus who focus on being disciples and making disciples. Which best describes your congregation’s understanding of this movement?
[Type an X by the appropriate response]
Totally unaware
X Have heard about it
Have been involved personally
X Some in the congregation are involved, some aren’t
Congregation understands, is on-board and involved

List the Top Five Things your congregations hopes for in its next Pastor

1. Scripture driven / Bible based preacher.
2. Inspirational teacher.
3. Possessing religious integrity.
4. Exhibiting relationship skills with all age groups.
5. Promoting a vision for growth.

What were the three most significant events in your congregation’s history? Provide the years in which these events happened and why they are important to your congregation.
1) The retirement of Pastor Neihaus (1960-1994). He was the founding pastor of Christ Lutheran Church and served for over thirty years.
2) We noted a significant increase in membership during the early 1970’s. This prompted a significant expansion of the facility (including a new, larger worship area) and an increase in ministries.
3) Joining LCMC and NALC promoted the continuation of a scriptural-based ministry.

Has your congregation participated in the Congregational Workshop Preparatory to the Call Process? [Type an X by the appropriate response]
X Yes No

Several members of the congregation had participated in a workshop at Christ Lutheran to facilitate the call process.

What were the three most significant results of the workshop?

1. Educate members regarding the call process
2. Enlisting several members who attended the workshop to be on the call committee
3. Developing a list of desired pastoral attributes

Describe the nature and extent of any significant current or recent conflict in the congregation. Is this conflict resolved, or ongoing? If resolved, how was it resolved?
Like all churches, we have not been without conflict. Since we are a strong, loving congregation, we have worked through it. There is only a small portion of the congregation dealing with the lingering effects from a staff conflict in 2018.

How does your congregation handle conflict/tension? Which of the following do you think best describes your congregation? [Type an X by the appropriate response]
As a church, we respect and listen to each other and work things through without generating divisiveness.
X As a church, we try to respect and listen to each other, but it is not uncommon for differences of opinion to be a problem and for some people to choose sides. Some have left our church because of conflict.
X Conflict hurts our sense of unity, but we tend not to talk about it.
Painful experience with conflict has been present, but it has been worked through, and we have learned from the experience.
X We have had some painful experiences with conflict, and they linger in the background.
Open conflict is present, and we need a minister who can help us deal with it.
Other (describe)…...

What was the nature of the relationship between your last pastor and the congregation? Positive? Struggling? Cooperative? Tense?
Our last pastor guided us for 14 years. He retired in 2021. Our relationship with him was a positive one with support going in both directions between him and the parishioners.

How did your council/congregational leaders work together with your last pastor? [Type an X by the appropriate response]
X Leadership is shared, with shared decision-making
Pastor makes important decisions
X Council makes decisions with pastoral input
Council makes decisions without pastoral input

Is your pastor a member of council with: [Type an X by the appropriate response(s)]
Voice X Vote

Congregational finances

Total budget for last fiscal year: $ 235,757
Benevolence to the North American Lutheran Church: $ 1700
Other benevolence: $ 14,500
Total debt of the congregation: under $100,000
Total savings, reserves, and endowments: $ 440,077